There’s nothing quite like the creaminess and sensuality of a cheesecake. It’s a treat to enjoy instead of the heavier options like that of a mud cake. However, for the true cheesecakes lovers, there’s nothing quite as decadent as trying your hand at a Japanese cheesecake. These morsels of goodness are sometimes referred to as a cotton soft Japanese cheesecake or soufflé cheesecake, due to their weightless, silky consistency and melt in your mouth texture. As decadent as they are to the palate, they are as light as air on the stomach and are truly what dreams are made of.
Preparation is everything when it comes to a Japanese cheesecake, the texture is delicate and quite unstable so it’s important to take the time to prepare your cake with baking paper to ensure that once you lift your cake from the tin it will not crumble.
Just One Cookbook gives some very helpful tips along with a step-by-step guide that can be used for other delicate cakes with a soufflé-like texture as well, requiring just butter and baking paper. Pull out 70cm of baking paper. You will need one 70cm x 10cm (or height of cake tin) sheet, and two 70cm x 5cm strips, crossed over at the bottom of the cake tin and used for pulling the cheesecake out after it has cooled completely outside of the oven. Use a butter cube to grease the inside of the cake tin so that the baking paper will stick to it nicely, remembering to grease the baking paper that will touch the cake batter, ensuring the cake won’t stick to it once it's cooked.
The oven temperature is another element that is imperative to the execution of a successful Japanese cheesecake. If the oven temperature is too high, the cheesecake will rise too fast, break the structure, and eventually crack. If the heat source is too close to the cake, the cake will also develop large cracks. Sitting the cake tin in a water bath will create a gentle and uniform heat around the cake whilst it's baking as well as creating moisture in the oven, ensuring your cake won’t dry out.
With the addition of lemon juice and rum, this cotton cheesecake recipe is zesty and acts as a very refreshing afternoon tea delight. Bebs, the creator of Foxy Folksy, has topped her cheesecake with a simple dusting of icing sugar and fresh berries, however this cake is a great blank canvas to top with whatever your heart desires. Spread with a silky cream topping and even drizzle with a little warm chocolate sauce, or perhaps simply serve with a generous scoop of equally light rosewater ice cream.
More images from Carmen can be found here.